Injectable insulins like Tresiba and Lantus are an effective treatment for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Whilst your doctor will be able to prescribe the best possible insulin for your condition, it is important to know the differences between them. To help, here we explain clearly and simply what Lantus and Tresiba are, how they work, and the similarities and differences between them.
Understanding insulin and long-acting insulin
Insulin is a natural hormone your body produces. It helps your cells absorb glucose from your blood and makes sure you maintain a healthy blood glucose level. Lantus and Tresiba are both synthetic (man-made) versions of insulin. Whilst they work in the same way as the insulin your body naturally produces, they are designed to be longer acting.
Tresiba and Lantus are usually injected once a day to help your body maintain a healthy blood glucose level throughout the day and night. They are active for 24 hours after injecting, often for longer, depending on the dose you take.
What is the difference between Lantus and Tresiba?
Tresiba and Lantus are both long-acting insulins used to treat diabetes. The medications are similar, but there are some key differences between Lantus and Tresiba.
- Tresiba and Lantus are both prescribed to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults. Lantus has only been approved to treat type 1 diabetes in children 6 years and over, while Tresiba has been approved to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children aged 1 year and older.
- Tresiba and Lantus contain different types of insulin. Tresiba contains insulin degludec and Lantus contains insulin glargine.
- Tresiba is longer-lasting than Lantus. Lantus typically lasts for 24 hours, but Tresiba can last up to 42 hours depending on the dose taken.
- Lantus and Tresiba can cause similar side effects. However, research has shown Tresiba is less likely to cause hypoglycemia (when your blood glucose levels fall too low). Tresiba may be more suitable for people who are prone to hypoglycemia.
- Although insulins can interact with similar medications, Tresiba has a longer list of medications that should be avoided.
- Lantus is generally cheaper than Tresiba. A 10 ml, 100 unit vial of Tresiba costs approximately $363, whilst a 10 ml, 100 unit vial of Lantus costs approximately $306.
How effective is Tresiba vs Lantus?
Both Lantus and Tresiba are proven to be effective treatments for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but which is the most effective?
Two reviews of the research into the effectiveness of Tresiba and Lantus (one covering 15 trials and 16,694 patients and the other covering 18 trials and 16,791 patients) found both medications reduced blood glucose by a comparable amount. Both reviews found that Tresiba was less likely to cause hypoglycemia and concluded that it may be more suitable for patients who are prone to hypoglycemia.
Tresiba vs Lantus cost comparison
Both Lantus and Tresiba can be bought as:
- Pre-filled self-injecting pens
- Cartridges for use in self-injecting pens
- Vials of insulin to be used in a syringe
The cost of Tresiba and Lantus without insurance can vary by retailer and the amount you buy. It will also depend on whether you buy pre-filled pens, cartridges, or vials. Based on average prices for a comparable amount of each medication, Lantus is generally cheaper than Tresiba.
The cost of Lantus and Tresiba, if you have insurance, will depend on the details of your healthcare plan. Contact your pharmacist or insurance provider to calculate your copay with your current insurance.
If you’re approved for Lantus or Tresiba assistance through NiceRx, you could get your prescription for only $49 per month. We may be able to help you even if you have insurance. Fill in our online enrollment application to find out more.